The No. 911 crew of Fred Makowiecki, Nick Tandy, and Matt Campbell scored Porsche’s first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Le Mans class win of the season after late-race contact derailed the dominant BMW at Motul Petit Le Mans.
Makowiecki took the lead with just over 30 minutes remaining when Augusto Farfus had to come to pit lane to clean the radiator inlet following a run-in between the Brazilian’s BMW M8 GTE and an unidentified prototype that forced the Brazilian driver off at Turn 12.
Farfus and his BMW Team RLL co-drivers John Edwards and Jesse Krohn had controlled much of the final half of the race from the front in a GTLM battle that saw five of the six cars remain on the lead lap for the full 10-hour run.
Makowiecki fended off a hard charge from Antonio Garcia in the No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R that had won its class in the previous two IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship events.
Farfus recovered to get back on the podium after a late-race caution for Laurens Vanthoor’s heavy crash in the No. 912 Porsche as the Belgian driver tried to pass GTD traffic in the esses on a late restart.
That incident brought out the sixth full course caution of the event in the final five minutes which was not lifted before time expired on the race.
The No. 25 BMW had its day undone in the third hour when Colton Herta was forced to drive the car behind the wall to address a throttle body issue.
They lost over 30 laps making the repairs and were unable to make up any positions in class with the lack of attrition in GTLM until the final minutes.
Scuderia Corsa Scores GTD Win, Telitz Takes Points Lead
Scuderia Corsa broke through for its first GT Daytona class win of the season in the team’s return to the WeatherTech Championship after missing the previous two events.
Cooper MacNeil, Alessandro Balzan, and Jeff Westphal’s WeatherTech-sponsored Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 were a fixture in the top five over the course of the 10-hour race and surged to the front in the final hours.
MacNeil drove extensively in the opening hours and kept the car in podium contention before turning the Prancing Horse over to Balzan and Westphal for the run to the checkered flag.
Westphal brought the car home ahead of second-place Jack Hawksworth in the No. 14 AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3.
Courtesy of the runner-up result and misfortune for his championship rivals, Hawksworth’s co-driver Aaron Telitz has provisionally taken over the GTD points lead. The two drivers were joined by Michael De Quesada this weekend.
The No. 44 GRT Magnus Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo completed the podium in third, followed by Wright Motorsports’ No. 16 Porsche 911 GT3 R and the No. 12 AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus.
Several GTD title contenders hit problems along the way, including the No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo that entered the weekend leading the points.
For the third straight races, Mario Farnbacher and Matt McMurray suffered contact not of their making and had to go to the paddock for repairs in the eighth hour.
The MSR team was able to get the class pole-winning car repaired and back into the race, but not before they lost over 10 laps.
Farnbacher, McMurray and endurance-only co-driver Shinya Michimi persevered to the end and were credited with a 10th place finish.
One spot ahead was the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 of Robby Foley, Bill Auberlen, and Dillon Machavern.
The defending class winners of the event saw their chances for victory disappear when Foley experienced a brake pedal vibration, forcing the car to pit lane to assess the situation in the seventh hour.
RESULTS: Motul Petit Le Mans